Can You Insure All Weapons?
Weapons Insurance for collections of handguns, rifles and shotguns; including historic, rare, or unique firearms can protect your valuable possessions. Custom weapons have a significant monetary investment in “accessories.”
Insuring Specialty Guns
A specialty gun insurance policy is designed for these modifications and upgrades, specifically; Stocks and, grips, bayonets, flashlights that attach to a firearm; barrel mounted suppressors; sights, scopes, spotting scopes, magnified or non-magnified optics, red dot or reflex sights, holographic sights; lasers, other optics designed for aiming or sighting of firearms; slings, holsters, cases, or boxes designed for the carry or transport of firearms; bipods and tripods designed for the use with firearms; magazines, clips, links, or other devices designed for the feeding of ammunition into a firearm, shotgun chokes, sub-gauge tube sets, binoculars.
Coverage Limits for Gun under Home Insurance
Homeowners Insurance Companies restrict coverage for burglary and theft as well as available limits for most weapons. Additional limitations are placed on out of production weapons which often appreciate as they become more desirable to collectors. Common language on a homeowners policy removes replacement cost loss settlement defaulting to actual cash value for “ineligible Property” such as antiques, fine arts, paintings and similar articles of rarity or antiquity (i.e. Grifnee engraved Holland or a David McKay Brown 28-gauge), which cannot be replaced, OR memorabilia, collector’s items and similar articles, whose age or history contribute to their value.
Insuring Class III Weapons and National Firearms Act (NFA)
If your collection includes class III weapons or NFA firearm or firearm accessory as regulated by the ATF then it is best to check with your insurance company to see if they cover these items. There are a few specialty firearm insurance companies that will insure these weapons as well as provide additional coverage to reimburse you for the necessary and reasonable expenses that you make to a governmental authority for tax stamps or federal stamps required for your legal ownership of that property. It’s always best to check with the company to see if they have any restrictions or exclusions for class III’s.
Due Diligence and Research on Insurance Coverage
Not all policies and companies are created equal highlighting the importance of research and customer reviews. The best insurance policies for your weapons will include coverage extensions or enhancements such as transit/shipping coverage, world-wide coverage without exclusionary or limiting language, automatic coverage for newly acquired items.
Similar to coverage, price that companies charge for weapons insurances varies greatly. The majority of collectors significantly over pay for subpar coverage. Historically, the average cost was $12.50 per $1,000 in values. Leading programs now offer broader coverage for 75% to 90% less or $1.5 to $3 per $1,000.
Insurability and Privacy – Policy Cornerstones
Besides price, insurability and privacy are key benefits to using a policy/company that is different from your homeowners carrier. Controversy surrounding the 2nd amendment and its presence in the press is forcing homeowners companies to distance themselves from the issue. We have seen several companies cancel a homeowner’s policy after small theft claims in fear that they may get pulled into a lawsuit under the liability section of the homeowners policy.
Unfortunately, each insurance company and specialty program have a different appetitive or comfort level for your cherished belongings. Always conduct due diligence to see to determine if weapons are excluded such as air rifles, archery equipment, knives, swords, or ammunition. There are hundreds of forums for all types of collectors that provide a host of comments, reviews, and experiences providing unbiased views of the leading weapons insurance programs.
Written by Larry Cushman
Larry Cushman, founder of Cushman Insurance Agency, planted his roots in Virginia nearly 60 years ago. Originally born in Lancaster, PA Larry was just 9 years old when his family moved to the D.C suburbs. While he cherishes all of his outdoor experiences as a young boy, the most influential was when he was introduced to hunting at just 14 years old. A close friend invited him on a deer and rabbit hunt, accompanied by the family’s prized beagles. The rest is history. Learn more about Larry.